[Sydney, Australia, May 15, 2000]: In a move to open bandwidth
capacities to Australian users, telecommunications carrier PowerTel has formed an alliance
with major shareholder, US carrier Williams Communications, to establish
new high-speed links their respective networks.
In a Memorandum Of Understanding, PowerTel and Williams have agreed
to work together to develop a complete set of data and voice products
and to send traffic to each other’s networks on a “preferred vendor” basis.
The deal will provide greater Internet capacity for Australian users,
to more quickly access data from the US.
As part of the agreement, Williams has purchased bandwidth capacity
on the undersea international cable network currently being constructed
by the Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN). This network will connect
Australia and New Zealand with Hawaii and the west coast of the USA, and
is expected to be operating by November to provide hundreds of times the
capacity of current cables serving Australia.
The SCCN will act as a link between PowerTel’s and Williams’
individual networks, to remove the bandwidth bottleneck in Australia.
PowerTel is currently completing its Australian east coast cable
links. The 1000km Brisbane to Sydney link was finished last September,
while the Melbourne link is scheduled for completion in June.
With this network in place, PowerTel will migrate from its
construction focus to a more consumer-centric strategy. The company
intends to provide enterprise solutions such as wholesale dial up
Internet access, Internet Protocol Virtual Private Networks and
As Williams’ network includes capacity agreements for fibre-optic
cables between the US and Europe, China, Japan and the Pacific Rim,
PowerTel may have the opportunity to expand its reach through the alliance.
The deal comes on the heels of PowerTel’s strategic alliance with
fellow carrier Soul Pattinson Telecommunications, announced last
Thursday. Under this deal, PowerTel’s fibre-optic network will
complement SPT’s microwave infrastructure, to expand network delivery in
preparation for digital broadcasting.